5 killed in Pak after airport attack

A fierce gunbattle broke out between Pakistani security personnel and militants holed up in a house on the outskirts of Peshawar leaving six people, including a policeman, dead Sunday, hours after an abortive bid by Taliban to storm an air force base in the city claimed nine lives.

Apart from the policeman, five militants were killed in the clash which took place in Pawaka, a suburb of Peshawar.

Three of the militants were gunned down by police and army troops while two others blew themselves up after they were surrounded by soldiers, the military's media arm said. Two more policemen were injured in the clash.

The dead militants were part of a group of Taliban suicide attackers who tried to attack the Peshawar airbase Saturday night. Residents of Pawaka, located a short distance from the airport, said five militants took shelter in a house being built in the area at about 7.30 am. They also warned people not to alert the police, local residents told the media.

"Three of the militants were shot by security forces when they tried to escape," said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

"Two other militants detonated their suicide vests. One policeman was killed and another wounded in the firefight," Hussain said .

All five militants were Uzbeks, said military officials. The Taliban have been known to cooperate with militants from Uzbekistan in the past.

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